Q I just traded a Harley and an old snow-blower for a really clean '07 KTM 950 Super Enduro R. Aside from a bit too much bark out of the Akrapovic cans that came with it, the bike is essentially perfect for me: comfortable, well-behaved in the rough stuff and very fast. I'm still getting used to that part. My question is, since I'm heading out on more aggressive rides farther from home, what should I do to help the bike survive a tip-over in the middle of nowhere? Also, I've added a couple of things to the stock tools--tire levers and tubes, for example--but do you guys have a don't-leave-home-without-it list? How would you carry it: Butt bag? Tail pack? Both? I usually ride with a buddy or two, and we're not training for the Dakar Rally. I'd just like to feel like I'm carrying the right tools and spares.
A Our friend Ned Suesse--a.k.a. "Neduro"--just came back from a few months of bouncing around South America on his 950 Super Enduro and brushing up on his Spanish. Considering he's also put together a couple of excellent instructional DVDs on dual-sport riding (check out www.dualsportriding.com), we couldn't think of a better guy to ask. He's pretty sure the new snow-blower owner got the short end of that stick. Or maybe he has a cabin up in Prescott. Anyway, here's Ned's Super Enduro survival advice.
"The two most important things are an upgraded skid plate (check out hwww.blackdogcw.com) and good hand guards--I'm partial to Fastway, but any brand will do. Regarding tools and what to bring, think about likely failures and bring things to fix them. The basics are a spare master link and chain press; an assortment of hose clamps, quicksteel, zip ties, fasteners and safety wire (to secure things that broke or seal things that leak); tire irons, pump and tubes; and enough tools to work on major components should it become necessary. To make sure you have the right tools for your bike, do some of your wrenching at home with just what you carry in the field--you'll find any shortcomings while you have a chance to fix them. Don't neglect yourself, either: In addition to food and water, a space blanket and first-aid kit may turn out to be the most important things you have along. In the end, ingenuity will get you through a lot. So don't try to have everything you could possibly use; just bring what you really need.
"Regarding how to carry it all, there's a fair amount of space under the seat of the SE--especially if the emissions canister 'accidentally' fell off. I keep my spare tubes tucked back there, and the tools wrapped in a tool roll beneath the seat. If you need more space, look into a small tail bag--or if you ride really rough trails, a fanny pack so things don't get shaken to death on the bike. Your biggest challenge will hopefully be keeping a good rear tire on that bike!"
I was recently reading your "Money No Object" comparison (MC, February), which mentions that the Ducati 1098R frame is fabricated from ALS 450 tubing. I'm curious about this alloy, but couldn't find anything about it on the Web. Is ALS 450 just a motorcycle-industry label for a steel alloy that has a more common trade name or ASME name? Also, is the Desmosedici RR frame made of the same alloy?
Newport News, VA
According to technical types at the home office, the alloy in question is also known as Fe E 420 or E420M UNI 10296-1. ALS is common shorthand for alloy steel, and 450 is the factory's designation for this particularly complicated alloy. More corrosion-resistant than the familiar 4130 chrome moly (a.k.a. chromoly) variety, it's relatively easy to weld and has what engineers like to call "a high modulus of elasticity," making it more durable in a tip-over. ALS 450 debuted in the '95 916's steel-trellis skeleton, and is also employed on the Desmosedici RR, using a different diameter to maintain rigidity without increasing wall thickness. The 15.8-lb. Desmo-sedici RR frame uses four different tubes ranging from 18 to 28mm in diameter, with a wall-thickness of 1.5 to 2mm.